New York City
Is He Dead?, a new comedy by master American novelist and satirist Mark Twain, is adapted by David Ives, directed by two-time Tony Award® winner Michael Blakemore, and stars Tony Award winner Norbert Leo Butz. Written in 1898, Is He Dead? remained unpublished until it was rediscovered in 2002 by noted Twain scholar Shelley Fisher Fishkin.
Inspired by the posthumous bidding war that broke out between the United States and France over Jean-Francois Millet’s painting “The Angelus,” Is He Dead? is a fast-paced comedy about a group of poor artists who stage the death of their mentor to drive up the price of his paintings. In order for the scheme to succeed, the artists hatch various hilarious plots involving cross-dressing, a full-scale fake funeral, lovers’ deceptions, and much more.